PROJECT: LUNCHBAG

Project:Lunchbag
Trinity Summer 2015 Schoolkids Outreach

We’ve all heard about the school lunch program that helps kids from lower income homes by providing a free or reduced cost lunch each school day. Did you know that more than 37% of the students in the Wyoming Area School District—including about 40% of the grades K-5 students at the Montgomery Avenue Elementary School just one block from Trinity Church—receive help from the school lunch program?

What happens during the summer when students aren’t in school? There are other programs, but families with limited or no transportation access may not be able to participate. For these families, their normal budget needs to stretch to feed the children…or they go hungry.

Trinity can help by partnering with school officials to identify a few families in the greatest need and provide them with a bag of non-perishable food to offset the cost of feeding their child or children. A similar project arranged by a small group of parishioners a few summers ago helped to feed nine children in five families for ten weeks over the course of the summer.

This requires a commitment from families or individuals in the parish to provide food five times during the summer (every two weeks from June 21 through August 16). These donated items will be packed and delivered to the school nursing staff who will arrange for them to go to the neediest families while still maintaining privacy for the families.

What Can WE Do?

Our parishioners can help in any of the following ways:

• Sponsor a family for the summer by committing to purchase each of the items on the list on the back of this sheet for each of the five Project: Lunchbag weeks of the summer.

• Sponsor a family for one week by committing to purchase each of the items on the list on the back of this sheet for one of the five Project: Lunchbag weeks of the summer.

• Purchase five of one item/group of items from the list on the back of this sheet so it can be included in the five packs one family will receive over the summer.

• Purchase one or more of these items to be combined with donations of other parishioners and given to the families.

• Donate reusable shopping bags (not plastic grocery bags) for packing the food for delivery. Often the parent will have to walk to get their food with one or more children along, so having it in one or possibly two sturdy bags as opposed to many smaller plastic bags is helpful.

• Volunteer time after Mass on Project: Lunchbag Sundays (June 21, July 5, July 19, August 2, August 16) to help pack food for delivery

• Make a cash donation to offset Trinity’s purchase of needed items to fill out bags. Place these in the offering plate labeled “Outreach—Project: Lunchbag,” or mail to the church office.

Suggested Items for Project: Lunchbag Donations

(all included items should be non-perishable—
although we will deliver the donations the next day,
the school/parents may need a few days to coordinate pickup)

• One or two boxes of cereal OR oatmeal

• A combination of any two or more of the following items:

o Three to four boxes macaroni and cheese OR
o One jar of peanut butter, one jar jelly, one box crackers OR
o Three to four canned pasta meals (Spaghettios, Beefaroni, etc) OR
o Three to four cans of soup and crackers
(For example, the donation for one Project: Lunchbag week could include three boxes of mac and cheese and four cans of Beefaroni OR peanut butter, jelly, crackers and three cans of soup)

• Canned fruit or applesauce (a pack or two of individual servings, or two cans or plastic jars)

• Juice boxes or canned juice concentrate (not frozen—there are some concentrates that are 100 % juice packaged in a can like a soda can). Large juice bottles can be an alternative, but are heavy.

• A “treat” type item—granola bars, pudding packs, pretzels, goldfish or other crackers, fruit snacks. Please remember that these are food-insecure kids and keep nutrition in mind, avoiding candy, cookies, cakes, chips, etc.

Hunger does NOT take a summer vacation.
Please help your parish help the most helpless among us:
the children in our own neighborhood.

“For I was hungry and you fed me…”
(Matthew 25:35)